My name is Kimberly and I'm the reader/reviewer behind Wit and Sin. Wit and Sin is a website that provides honest reviews and publicity. I primarily read and review Romance titles, but I also review Urban Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult, Mystery, and Non-Fiction titles. In addition to Wit and Sin, I am a reviewer for Joyfully Reviewed (pen name: Shayna) and Romance Junkies (pen name: Lily).
In Ink and Bone readers were introduced to a world where the Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed. Now The Library is its own entity, spread all over the world. It sounds amazing…until you look beneath the surface. The Library controls the dissemination of knowledge, stifles innovation, and with brutal efficiency takes down anyone who seeks to escape its control. In Paper and Fire Jess and his friends have had their eyes opened; they see the rot within the Library. But there’s no such thing as an easy escape, even if one of their own wasn’t trapped in a gilded cage and another hidden in a secret prison. The clock’s ticking for Jess and all those he cares about: if they don’t find a way to break free of the Library’s hold their time will soon run out.
Paper and Fire takes us deeper into the incredible world of the Great Library that Rachel Caine introduced in Ink and Bone. Like Jess and his friends, I absolutely love what the Library could be, if greed and power hadn’t corrupted it at the highest echelons. The joy and love of learning is muted in Paper and Fire because the world has taken on a more sinister tone. Most of the book is centered around Jess, Glain, Dario, Khalila, Morgan, Santi, and Wolfe all doing their part to search for Thomas, their friend and a brilliant young inventor taken captive by the library for coming up with an idea for a printing press. With the wonder of discovery gone from the story, this book was a bit less exciting than its predecessor. I still really enjoyed it and the threats against our protagonists (especially the imminent threat to Morgan) made my gut clench at times, but the book suffers a bit from being a bridge book. We don’t learn much new about the characters either, and not even my mad love for Wolfe and Santi could blind me to the fact that there wasn’t much character growth to balance out the slow momentum of the plot. It’s a fairly slow read for most part and I’m honestly at a loss for what to say about story because it didn’t get truly interesting until the end. There’s nothing wrong with the book and I did enjoy it overall, but I wasn’t dazzled by it like I was Ink and Bone.
I cannot talk about the last part of the book without spoiling the story, but it’s where Paper and Fire shines the brightest. When everything comes together Ms. Caine’s writing is captivating. The action, adventure, and danger coalesce into a thrilling conclusion that had me eager to dive into the next Great Library novel. So while this book had some ups and downs for me, I still absolutely love the world Ms. Caine has created and I cannot wait to see what happens next in Ash and Quill.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.